Photo by MIKHAIL VASILYEV
An important part of keeping your cat healthly and happy is checking and cleaning their ears. Because the ears are one of the few parts that cats can not reach themselves they need a little help from a loving owner. Keeping your cats ears clean is extremely important because any unremoved dirt, debris, or wax can clog the ears and cause infections. Regular ear cleaning at home augment's your cats own natural grooming habits.
1. How to check the ears
During petting, casually check your cats ears for discharge, redness, unpleasant smell, swelling, and even lumps. Also observe your cat's behaviour, if he often scratches or paws at his ears (and sometimes even shakes his head often), then he might be feeling discomfort in the ear area.
If you notice that your cats ears are becoming painful or inflamed, visit a veterinarian as soon as possible. The veterinarian has the equipment to look deep into your cat's ear canal and give an accurate diagnosis. The veterinarian will determine if allergies, skin conditions, ear mites, bacteria, yeasts, and fungi are causing ear diseases. Seek early treatment, or your cat's ear condition may become too late to heal.
2. How to clean the ears
Ask your veterinarian for gentle ear cleaning solutions you can use to keep your cats ears clean. These special solutions are effective in removing excess wax, moisture, and debris from your cat's outer ear canal. Be sure to use only solutions that are specifically formulated for cats. Avoid medicated solutions, unless your veterinarian advises you to use it.
Different solutions are administered differently, but most of them require you to follow these steps.
* You typically only need a few drops of the ear solution. Squeeze the bottle and let a few drops fall on into your cat's ear canal.
* Start massaging the base of your cats ear gently. You should hear a 'squelch' while you do this. Repeat the same procedure with the other ear. After both ears have been cleaned, let your cat shake its head, this loosens the waxes.
NOTE: Stop massaging immediately if your cat feels pain, and then take your cat to the veterinarian if you haven't already done so.
* Wipe the solution by wrapping your forefinger with cotton wool, this should clean off wax and debris. Do this gently though and do not poke in too deep, or you might hurt your cats eardrum.
It is recommended not to use cotton buds, which can injure the ear canals' sensitive lining.